While female racing drivers are becoming a more common sight in motorsport these days, they’re still very much the minority. Rebecca Jackson is a British driver competing all over Europe and she’s just completed a very exciting project.
Project Le Mans began in 2013 when Rebecca had been racing for just two years. The four-year plan was to reach Le Mans, arguably one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the world. After just over three years of hard work she made it and competed in the Road to Le Mans race ahead of the 24-hour event.
She says: “The journey has been spectacular and not only has it been thrilling, exciting and challenging it’s also opened doors for me that I never even knew existed. Life is for living and I really feel like I’m doing that. I’ve also learnt a lot; about racing, different race cars, behind closed doors side of motorsport and people. It’s amazing what can be achieved with the right people around you.”
Of course, climbing your way up any career ladder in such a short time can be difficult and that’s certainly true of motorsport too. Alongside Project Le Mans and Rebecca’s racing career she also had to juggle friends, family and her car sales business, as she explains: “In the early days I had no work balance at all and I buried my head in this project, it was all I could think about and I spent every waking, and probably sleeping, hour thinking about it.
“My car business suffered but then I found a rhythm, both with the project and juggling a business as well as spending time with friends. Once you find a formula it’s easy to replicate and since this time I have also successfully launched RJ Bespoke, my bespoke range of Land Rover Defenders and even have a cartoon version of Rebecca Racer coming out soon!”
We can all learn from Rebecca’s determination and hard work but this is a surprising insight into the world of motorsport. The challenges faced by Rebecca were often off the race track. She says: “The obvious challenges have been making sure the finances work and coordinating everything so deadlines are met. We had a big teamwear issue but then found a great company to work with who actually do what they say they are going to do. That’s the problem you see, it’s not just thinking about driving fast! There’s more to it!”
The hard work has most certainly been worth it as Rebecca has continuously stepped from up from one amazing race car to another. She started out racing a Porsche 924 before moving on to racing a Porsche Boxster. Last year she hopped in an awesome Porsche 911 Cup Car for the GT Cup. This was a chance for her to get to grips with a powerful car with no driver aids, setting her up to drive anything.
This year she’s been zooming around the circuits of Europe in a KTM X-Bow in the SRO European GT Series, while also taking part in some MINI Challenge races in the most powerful JCW class.
In the Road to Le Mans race she drove a prototype like those seen in the 24-hour event. The LMP3 car is the perfect stepping stone to the more powerful prototypes, which is exactly what Rebecca is aiming for next year.
It’s no wonder Rebecca struggles to pick just one car as the best she’s ever driven. She says: “Ariel Atom up the hill at Goodwood, Porsche Cayman GT4 on the road and as for race cars, tough call. Probably the LMP3 car! I can’t pick one sorry.”
A big part of racing is working with sponsors and partners. Helping her reach Le Mans was skincare brand FOY, for which Rebecca is an ambassador. She says: “The premium skincare brand is a professional formula devised from post surgery products and therefore when changing from another brand there are no break outs. I live life on the edge, to the max and always am juggling a million and one things so it can take it toll on my skin. If it wasn’t for FOY on the huge Denso road trip I did, for example, I probably would not have looked so fresh faced on camera!”
Even though Rebecca is busy, she still takes the time to look after her skin. She explains her beauty routine to Shoplinkz: “I always wash my face with a flannel and I would not dream of going to bed without washing my face. I love the feeling of warm water and face wash and then I finish with FOY products. They smell great and make my skin feel amazing. FOY also has a great face scrub and mask in one, it feels heavenly. Night cream, day cream and twice daily eye gel.”
Race tracks are harsh environments so extra steps have to be taken to protect your skin. Rebecca says: “You are out in the elements. Wind, rain and sun all play havoc with the skin and then of course there’s the exhaust fumes, tyre smoke and other automotive skin enemies!”
How does she fit it all in?
As well as being a glamourous racing driver, brand ambassador, business woman, Rebecca is also a television presenter and salsa dancer. We asked her how she fits it all in, she says: “I’m not sure but weirdly I don’t need that much sleep and a rest as short as five minutes sometimes revives me to keep going for another few hours.
“I grab rest in small doses because that’s what I need, so that could be just 30 minutes after a 12 hour day and I’m ready to continue with my brain activity or out for an evening event. I believe our minds are very powerful if you harness that power correctly, and in the right way for each individual.”
Chase your own dreams
Rebecca has fulfilled a huge dream by racing at Le Mans and has this advice for anyone else who is striving towards a goal: “Keep going regardless of any set backs! Be strong, resilient, have self belief and if anyone doesn’t make you feel good about yourself or tells you can’t, don’t listen to them. You need the right people around you.
“Never give up! Tackle it in baby steps, write down what you need to do and do it, just do it. Listen to worthy advice. Don’t be afraid of failure, everyone makes mistakes and it’s how you learn from them that counts. Then, keep going!”